Our commitment to effective land management and biodiversity conservation is longstanding. We work diligently to responsibly manage the land within and around our operations to protect biodiversity and maximize our contribution to nature conservation. Because the opening, operation, and closing of our cement and aggregates sites, in particular, can potentially affect biodiversity, we work constantly to minimize their potential impacts. These can include habitat degradation, species disturbance, changes in groundwater levels, discharges to water bodies, and dust emissions.
We recognize that our access to raw materials and our ability to operate in a given locale depends to a large extent on our ability to effectively manage our land impacts and protect the biodiversity of the area. However, we also believe that our operations, especially cement and aggregates, can have positive impacts and actually contribute to biodiversity conservation. For instance, quarries provide valuable habitats for some protected species through site rehabilitation, but also during the operating period.
We have quarry rehabilitation plans in most of our operations and many examples of successful rehabilitation projects focused on biodiversity conservation. We also benefit from longstanding relationships with conservation organizations in various countries in Europe, the USA, and Mexico, among others. For example, to enhance our performance, in 2007 we signed a 10-year agreement with BirdLife International, one of the world's most important conservation organizations, building on our existing relationship with the organization in Europe dating back to 2003.
The Scoping Study
Launched in October 2010, at the CBD CoP 10 in Nagoya, the Biodiversity Scoping Study categorizes all 543 CEMEX sites in terms of their proximity – far, near or overlapping with - areas of high value for biodiversity such as Important Bird Areas, International Protected Areas, and Natura 2000 areas. The study also provides a set of innovative tools, spatial data and information describing the main biodiversity issues of each site. This enables both CEMEX and BirdLife partners to understand risks and opportunities, and evaluate proactive approaches towards conserving and enhancing biodiversity relevant to the broad geographic location of CEMEX sites.
The Scoping Study represented a significant milestone for the partnership, leading directly into the development of the next stage, the CEMEX Biodiversity Action Plan Standard.
For a look at a summary of the study click here.
The CEMEX Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Standard
The Scoping Study prioritized where action, to identify, protect, enhance and restore biodiversity – is most urgently needed.
The CEMEX Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) standard is simply a plan to identify, evaluate and conserve or enhance biodiversity. The BAP can be thought of as a tool for targeting conservation action at priority wildlife on or broadly within the context of CEMEX sites, promoting the development of collaborative partnerships, regardless of location, proximity to areas of high ecological value or experience in biodiversity management. It is basically a systematic approach to guide action for the important wildlife at or within the vicinity of CEMEX operations.
The following document summarizes the CEMEX Biodiversity Action Plan Standard and provides a comprehensive approach to biodiversity conservation within CEMEX.
To read CEMEX's Biodiversity Policy click here
Preserving land, biodiversity, and ecosystem services
Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) are the principal tool for our company to achieve a Net Positive Impact on biodiversity. Since 2007, our operations have worked closely with BirdLife International, optimizing their unique local network of grassroots NGOs and their rich knowledge of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This work is guided by our Corporate Biodiversity Policy—which is fully integrated into our business model in all of our countries and operations and is aligned with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
As part of our Sustainability Plan 2030, we aim to achieve 100% rehabilitation plans for all of our active quarries—over 260 sites—continuing with the implementation of BAPs in those quarries classified as sites with high-biodiversity value, and extending our objective to obtain third-party certification for our conservation efforts in those quarries identified as high-risk sites based on a recently updated detailed environmental and social assessment.
In 2019, we continued to enhance biodiversity in and around our quarries—located in or close to high biodiversity value areas—while starting new BAP projects at other key quarries. We also continued to develop quarry rehabilitation plans for all of our active cement and aggregates quarries. At year-end, 97% of our more than 267 cement and aggregates quarries had a rehabilitation plan in place. Additionally, 93% of our active quarries located within or adjacent to high biodiversity value areas have implemented a BAP-certified by a third party.
The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) Sustainability Guidelines for quarry rehabilitation and biodiversity management—to which our company is fully committed—underscore the importance of these commitments. We will continue to improve our biodiversity management through the integration of proposed best practices with best standards throughout our operations.
In addition to our conservation efforts with BirdLife International, we have also partnered with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). This synergistic partnership provides a valuable opportunity to engage employees and local communities in wildlife enhancement initiatives and foster awareness of how industry and natural habitats can coexist. The WHC promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education. Through a focus on building collaboration for conservation with employees, other conservation organizations, government agencies, and community members, WHC programs focus on healthy ecosystems and connected communities.
We currently maintain 70 on-site conservation projects that have obtained third party biodiversity certification, including 31 active quarries in France, 19 in the U.S., 12 in Mexico, 4 in Panama, 2 in Costa Rica, 1 in the Dominican Republic, and 1 in Poland. These certifications include biodiversity conservation and community projects in our quarries and cement plants.
Importantly, we have now earned the most WHC certifications out of any company in Mexico and the U.S. Additionally, in 2018, WHC awarded CEMEX the Gold Tier Program of the Year for biodiversity conservation through our Las Salinas y Laguna Cabral Biodiversity Action Plan in the Dominican Republic. CEMEX also earned this prestigious WHC award during 2016 for our biodiversity conservation efforts at our El Carmen Nature Reserve.